by Dan Jones
I forget things.
I am forever forgetting where I put down the bottle of water or the cup of coffee I am drinking, even though it was in my hand ten seconds ago.
This past weekend, I was doing a home improvement project and lost the tape measure. After 20 minutes of searching, I finally gave up and got a different one off the workbench.
I still haven’t found the first one.
One time, I was building some cabinet doors and lost one of the hinges. This was not a small hinge. It’s the same size that’s used on the front door of your house. I believe it weighs close to half-a-pound. I looked all over the place for an hour until I finally found it--in my chest pocket.
Dates and times slip right off my head like an ice cube off a hot bowling ball.
My family writes stuff on the calendar to help me remember—and I forget to look at the calendar.
And people’s names have no chance at all in my head. I was once told that if you say a person’s name three times when you first meet them, it greatly increases your ability to remember their name.
My co-worker named “Janet” let me call her “Gretchen” for three months just to see how long it would be before I realized I wasn’t even close.
Just today, I was pretty proud of myself for remembering to call in a refill for one of my prescriptions—until I got half-way home and realized I had forgotten to go pick it up after work. (No, it’s not for pills to improve my memory.)
The funny thing is, I can remember the oddest things. I can recite all the lyrics to “Rocky Raccoon” by the Beatles. I know the spark plug gap on a 1962 Chevy 283 is .035 inch and the dwell setting for the points is 28-32 degrees.
My first car had G-78-14 size tires. The capital of Iceland is Reykjavik, Australia has the highest per-capita beer consumption in the world, and Thailand used to be known as “Siam”—which is where Siamese cats came from.
My brain loves trivia. It’s as if there’s an enormous section of my brain specifically reserved for Information Which Annoys Other People.
There are people on this planet who refuse to play “Trivial Pursuit” with me.
They are entirely justified in this. When I first got the game, I sat down and read the questions and answers on every card (Except the ones about “Sport.”)—not in order to cheat, but because that odd section of my brain had just discovered the most condensed and highly-refined deposit of IWAOP in the known universe. It’s a junkie thing.
I’m sure all this seems fairly amusing to all of you, but it can be very frustrating to me.
It can actually hurt.
And the worst part is, sometimes the stuff I forget hurts other people.
Names and dates and a lot of other things matter to people.
When I forget, it looks like I don’t care. It looks like I only care about myself and I can’t be bothered to make an effort to remember things that are important to people.
Even to people I love.
There are a lot of excuses as to why I would forget things like that, but the bottom line is, I am the one who should remember. Yes, life gets distracting.
Things come along and divert my attention from what’s important, but I really don’t have an excuse.
I have prayed and asked that I would remember these things. I have written notes. I have repeated the information out loud to myself, and still I fail.
I will keep praying. I will keep trying.
Many of my flaws are things that seem to take forever to change.
Jesus is changing me, though.
And even though the process is slow and painful, I trust in Him knowing I would have no hope at all if it weren’t for Him.
And for those I have hurt while I am a work in progress, I thank you for your love and patience. It is far more than I deserve.
For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:31 ESV)